The holidays are just around the corner, which means thieves are going to be busy looking for vulnerable homes to rob. If you have a home security system, make sure that you arm it every time you leave the house, or retire for the night. If you don't have a home security system – and it isn't in your budget right now – don't worry. There are still steps you can take to make your home less inviting to thieves. Here are four simple security measures that will make your home safer.

Make it Look Like You're Home

When you leave your home, don't let it look like your gone. Burglars search neighborhoods for empty homes. If you've turned the lights out, or parked your second car in the garage, you've sent a signal to burglars that your home is fair game. To protect your home, and your belongings, make it look like someone is at home. Some ways to do that include leaving at least one interior light on, or parking your second car in the driveway. You can also leave a television on. If a burglar does make it up to your home, the sound of the television will turn them away.

Change the Locks

If you have traditional locksets on your home, you're providing easier access to would-be thieves. Burglars only need a few seconds to pick the locks on your home, especially if your locks utilize standard keys. However, keyless entry systems that require an alphanumeric code, or fingerprint access, are more difficult to break into. Make your home less vulnerable to break-in by having a locksmith change the exterior locks on your home. While your locksmith is out, ask them about other steps you can take to secure your home.

Remove the Temptation

If you're going to be setting up holiday decorations, or setting gifts out in the front room, don't leave the curtains open in the evening. The lights from inside the house will illuminate the decorations, giving would-be thieves a perfect view of all the items they could steal during the holidays. Go ahead and decorate your front room, but be sure to take it off display at night.

Add Some Decoys

When burglars choose a home to rob, they try to avoid homes with dogs. If you don't have a dog, you can still take measures to make burglars think you do. To keep burglars away, place a "Beware of dog" sign in your yard, and leave a large dog bowl next to one of your exterior doors. The burglars will see those items and move on.

The holidays are coming. Don't become the victim of a residential burglary. Use the tips provided here to keep your home well-protected. For more information or assistance, contact companies like Arapahoe County Security Center Inc.